Art Bros inc is a new veteran ran company making straight razors and other related products. They asked me a lot of questions about making razor blade handles and pocket knives etc... The main focus was centered around different materials some of them being strange. The laser seemed to be the best fit for acrylics but for what you are about to see, we needed more power! They gave me a piece of Petrified Charcoal. So I cut a few handles for them to see how well it did.
#1 custom drop slat fixture
I placed the charcoal chunck into this custom fixture to allow deeper cutting. I also placed pieces of scrap wood around it to help build strength against the beam. Hot glue was all that was needed to keep the charcoal in place.
#2 Cutting Slices
I used the SAW feature instead of making a path. The material seemed to separate around 500 machineability (3 inches thick). I just chose a brittle rock that seemed close and it worked fine.
#3 Cutting the handles
Due to the Charcoal being so small. I had to use the rotate feature in change path setup. I was trying to be all smart with calipers and using math. but in the end it was easier to just rotate the path and use dry run.
#4 finished products
The handles were all roughed out and ready for lapidary work. I also cut one from glass and marble.
All in all I enjoyed the experience cutting something new and strange. I would say a better choice would be to buy black marble tiles and cut them instead. The petrified charcoal was VERY brittle and prone to fracturing. 1/3 cuts fell apart. So if you are ever going to cut petrified wood, bone, and/or charcoal. remember it was alive at one time and has many layers. So rough it out much larger than you need to before you cut!
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